Producer and distributor Lucky Red has picked up Italian rights to We Want Sex, Happy Ever Afters and Gorbachev – The Cashier Who Liked Gambling.

The Italian company, which co-produced Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon and has the Italian rights, concluded the deals in Cannes last week.

We Want Sex, directed by Nigel Cole and produced by Stephen Woolley, is based on the true story of events leading to a 1968 strike at a UK Ford car factory. The shut eventually led to equal pay legislation for men and women.

Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson and Bob Hoskins are cast in the project that is set to shoot in the UK next month.

Lucky Red has also acquired Irish comedy Happy Ever Afters from Films Distribution. The project, which is in post-production, is directed by Stephen Burke, and also features Sally Hawkins. The film focuses on the collision of two wedding parties booked on the same day at the same hotel.

Finally, it will continue its relationship with top Italian actor Toni Servillo after picking up the rights to the $6.9m (€5m) project Gorbachev – The Cashier Who Liked Gambling (Gorbacio – Il Cassiere Col Vizio Del Gioco), directed by Stefano Incerti and acquired from Rai Trade. Servillo recently won Best Actor David of Donatello for his role in the Lucky Red co-produced Il Divo.

Produced by Devon Cinematografia, Surf Film, Teatri Uniti and The Bottom Line, Gorbachev will shoot in Naples this June.

Lucky Red has also signed on as co-producer and distributor for Black Venus (Venus Noir), the new film by Abdellatif Kechiche. France’s MK2 is producing the feature, which is due to shoot in June.

Inspired by true events, Kechiche’s story focuses on a young South African woman forced to join a European circus because of her oversized body parts. Following her death, she was sent as an exhibit at the Natural History Museum and has only recently been returned to her homeland.